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Elmhurst Park is tops

Elmhurst Park, the former site of the KeySpan gas tanks, received an award for being one of the top remediation projects in the city.

The award, which was part of the first annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards, took place at the Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with the NYC Partnership of Brownfield Practitioners.

“It is an honor to receive the Open Space Award from the NYC Partnerships of Brownfield Practitioners, on behalf of the extraordinary women and men who do the design and engineering of our parks,” said New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Elmhurst Park is a badly needed addition to the Queens community and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made building a new park.”

In 2005, KeySpan, now called National Grid, sold the 6-acre site known as Elmhurst Park to the city for $1. The land was home to KeySpan’s Newtown Gas Holders, popularly known as the Elmhurst Gas Tanks, and the community wanted a park for the site.

Currently, phase one of the $20 million project is complete, which included new clean fill, topsoil and perimeter sidewalks, street trees, fencing and gates. Future phases will include a small playground, walking paths, a comfort station, a flagpole, a kinetic sculpture, benches, a quiet sitting area, a synthetic turf play area and additional plantings. The second phase of the project is scheduled to begin this fall.

“Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to open space and parks, we are building innovative parks and facilities at an unprecedented scale, by transforming brownfields, former landfills, vacant buildings, and abandoned lots into vibrant destinations for active recreation,” Benepe said.

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